Leap Year Benefits


People don't talk enough about leap day. It's a completely different experience than most days. Because of that added day, sunsets and sunrises on average in the month of February and March are thrown off by up to a minute! All those romantic moments staring off into the sunset and early mornings waking with the sunrise are displaced temporally. Many times now, computer scientists working on important systems for scheduling and planning have missed leap days, leading to potentially ruinous circumstances.

I will not waste my leap day this year. I plan to take full advantage of it and I will ensure my total utility this year equals at least (if not more than) 366/365 of that in a standard, non-leap, year.

I am on track. 

I have been running along the Charles river and eating well. No new cavities at the last dentist visit. I am spending time with friends and I have a few more ski trips left before the winter ends fully. I am looking forward to a warm summer in Tennessee and focus in all things of my life.

Things are pretty good to be honest. And it takes work, it's work I am doing my best on.


In the morning, there was a bit of chaos getting onto the lift. Coyote and I rode a bus and waiting in a hoard of Europeans for almost an hour. When we got to the mountaintop, we were stuck in clouds and I couldn't see more than a few feet ahead of me. After the first few runs, the clouds left and we were left in a bluebird paradise.

I forgot about my cough and sore joints for a moment and we were skiing in powdered sugar instead of mashed potatoes.

This is the good life.


Before the First Storm


I was at Market Basket earlier today and there is a storm coming tomorrow. I was lucky to find a parking spot in less than 5 minutes and there were no carts available when I walked in the store. Every single cart was in-use or out in the parking lot. Light pushing and noise everywhere. I walked back out to the parking lot and grabbed a cart from a corral. Inside, I slowly maneuvered from aisle to aisle waiting here and there as families and folks reached, bumped, quipped, and packed food into their bins, baskets, and bags.

I put myself in the mess, so I cannot complain. I stayed up late last night and spent it with good friends. Today is a peaceful day, no work to do right now. 

There's something fun about being in the store before the storm if you can get past how annoying it can be and the urgency of course. Everyone agrees with simple phrases like "this is crazy busy" and "wow, must be a big storm coming". It's a simple thing. And everyone knows the possibility that we all get snowed in tomorrow. It's decently probable. And that fact is also comforting in a weird way. Hopefully there are no bad accidents or loss of power, but knowing that mankind is still powerless against some force of nature provides me with cool humility.

I'm back from Michigan. I was there for the holidays, where I watched plenty of footballs, had a few brews, talked about trees and mundane things. Went to the Gilmore Car Museum and drove around Lansing. Life is good and I'm looking forward to a good 2024.

Resonant Shower Cavity and Aquarium in Monterey, CA


Jellys in the tank I took a photo of

Last night, I was humming in the shower of my cheap motel in Monterey. As I hit a low note in my little ditty, the volume of my song jumped substantially. I was a bit surprised, but thankfully I understood why this occurred. I had unintentionally found the fundamental mode's frequency for this shower. 

I should explain that the geometry of this shower is unconventional. The showers in this cheap motel are 6'6" tall, 3' wide, 4'6" long tiled rectangular prisms with a thin glass door on hinges. It's a dark, claustrophobic shower cavity and a decent approximation of a Helmholtz resonator.

The fundamental mode of a rectangular cavity depends on the two larger dimensions and if you know the speed of sound in the box, you can calculate that frequency. I found it to be about 178 Hz. I was humming the song shown below and the low note that caused the resonation was E on the 2nd standard octave. This is about 82.4 Hz. 82.4 times 2 is pretty close to 178 Hz, so I reckon my estimates on the dimensions of the shower chamber are off.

Anyways, it's interesting to think about how air carries sound and how one might manipulate that fact to change the volume. 

Photos from the aquarium: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ikHixXCPF6CJDUzy9

The acoustic frequencies of importance


Some notes on resonant frequencies


Over the First Midterms


The first set of graduate school midterms are behind me. I solved some equations and missed a couple points here and there. Work goes on and taking it one step at a time. 

My mom and brother came to town a couple weeks ago. It was nice to spend some time comfortably around the city. I got to show them Northeastern and we went shopping before a nice dinner. I think often about what my life might be like if I moved out further to the country or closer to the midwest.

Posters and protests are occurring at universities across the US against the violence in the Levant. Students at MIT were threatened with suspension for continued protests in Lobby 7. I've seen many posters on the issue at NEU.

I wouldn't be such a patriot if I didn't have to be. Strong and fair systems are needed for peace. Here's hoping and praying. 

Beyond the stress of life, I went out Halloween weekend with a couple friends. We saw the Northeastern Men's Hockey team get whooped by Merrimack College and then visited The Black Rose in downtown Boston. Good times.

The $5 chicken at Costco inspired this cult wanting for their sustenance. 

Hiking Mt Monadnock


I went up Mt Monadnock in southern NH yesterday. I had a great time with my colleagues at Northeastern. We got up early and went up 2 thousand ft over ~6 miles. 

Hiking Mt Cardigan

I went up Mt. Cardigan this morning to try and watch the sunrise. Instead we watched a lot of fog, but as we came off the mountain it all cleared and I saw the valley below.


Leap Year Benefits

  People don't talk enough about leap day. It's a completely different experience than most days. Because of that added day, sunsets...